Monday, February 11, 2008

In Anticipation of 21st-Century History

When the definitive cultural history of the 21st century is written, I believe there will be a chapter devoted to this:

BERLIN -- The Italian actress and model Isabella Rossellini, who has been starring in big-screen movies for 20 years, is making her directorial debut with a series of short films designed for cellphones and computers. Rossellini's one-minute shorts are dramatic reenactments of insects copulating called Green Porno, a name designed to draw search engine traffic.

In all seriousness, what's most remarkable about this is how carefully all of the filmmakers' choices consider the technology being used. The title/theme is designed to draw search traffic, and to be quirky and "a little provocative, but accessible," as Rosselini says. The screens are small and not necessarily hi-res, so the actions and colors are large and cartoonish, which looks the best in that environment. And attention is limited, so the time in which a story can be told is compressed. Plus, there's the seriality of the whole thing -- eight short films, rather than a single work.

I think that in the near future you will see more people trying to cook up a similar formula, struggling with these limitations, and trying to rethink older conventions and ideas as the media, tech, and social conventions of entertainment continue to change.

1 comment:

Robin Sloan said...

This is insanely weird and awesome.